Changes to Kelowna intersection aimed at keeping cyclists safe

The intersection at Gordon Drive and Springfield Road is getting flexible poles to delineate the bike and vehicle lanes.

Motorists, cyclists and pedestrians will notice changes to the intersection of Gordon Drive and Springfield Road in Kelowna this summer.

The city says the most noticeable change will be the installation of flexible plastic poles delineating the Springfield Road bike lane from the vehicle lane at the westbound approach to Gordon Drive.

“Based on requests from Kelowna Area Cycling Coalition, we conducted design and safety reviews and identified some specific improvements we’ll implement by the end of summer,” said Moudud Hasan, transportation and mobility manager with the city.

Drivers traveling west on Springfield tend to cut into the cycle lane if they’re turning right on to Gordon, he said. The manoeuvre is illegal and hazardous for cyclists using the bicycle lane, and for drivers who make the appropriate right turn from the vehicle lane.

The corner has a high volume of right-turning vehicles without an exclusive right turn lane. City staff feel the unusually wide bike lane invites drivers to use it when turning north onto Gordon. These factors required what the city is calling a unique solution – something beyond the usual green-painted bike lanes it has identified through the community.

Once the poles are in place, cyclists turning south onto Gordon from Springfield westbound will need to make the transition to a left turn position before they reach the delineation poles. The alternative will be to dismount and use the crosswalk at the intersection.

Another safety measure the city is implementing at the site is a raised median installed on Gordon at the south side of the intersection. This will improve school zone pedestrian safety, says the city, by adding a landing area for the wide stretch of road in front of A.S. Matheson Elementary.

But even with the new safety measures in place, cyclists, pedestrians and motorists are still urged to be alert and always move in predictable ways determined by traffic regulations.

Bike to Work and School Week goes May 26 to June 1, and the community is encouraged to sign up for the fun annual community event. Participants can cycle to work or school with colleagues, family or friends and enjoy fun support stations along the way during the week.

A map of cycling routes in Kelowna is available online at kelowna.ca/transportation.

For cycling tips and information in the Central Okanagan, please visit smartTRIPS.ca.

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